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AP Financial News Summary at 2:44 p.m. EDT

August 21, 2006

Dow Drops As Investors Take Profits

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Investors collected profits Monday, sending stocks moderately lower, after five straight sessions of gains. Disappointing results at Lowes Cos. and a rebound in oil prices contributed to the decline.

Oil Prices Climb Above $72 a Barrel

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices rose above $72 a barrel Monday after Iran insisted over the weekend that it will not suspend uranium enrichment and traders awaited a response from the United Nations at the end of the month.

Lowe’s Shares Tumble on Reduced Outlook

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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ Lowe’s Cos., the nation’s second-largest home-improvement chain, said Monday that its second-quarter profit rose 11 percent. But its shares tumbled more than 4 percent as it cut its full-year earnings outlook, saying higher energy prices and a slowing housing market are crimping consumer spending.

Gates Foundation Is a MediaNews Lender

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was among a few dozen banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and others entities that loaned a total of $350 million to MediaNews Group Inc. for its purchase of four newspapers from publisher McClatchy Co.

Cell Phones the Rage Among Young Iraqis

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Beep, beep, beep. Then the text comes: ``President Bush calls for a timetable for the withdrawal of the Iraqi people from Iraq.″

Beef Imported From U.S. Scarce in Japan

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TOKYO (AP) _ It’s been weeks since Japan ditched its import ban on U.S. beef and the first shipment went on sale, but American beef is nowhere to be seen at supermarkets here _ except this nation’s five Costco stores.

Zimbabweans Hurry to Trade in Old Money

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ Banks and stores did brisk business Monday on the last day the nation’s old bank notes were being accepted as legal currency. The old notes become obsolete at the close of trading Monday, when a new range of bills, with three zeros struck off the old denominations, replaces them amid hyperinflation.

Univision-Televisa Split May Force Shift

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MEXICO CITY (AP) _ They were the ultimate power couple: ambitious, successful and watched by the world. But mistrust, disagreements and jealousies began eating away at the relationship. Their breakup has millions of Spanish language soap opera fans wondering: What next?

Gold Kist Considering Buyout Offer

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ATLANTA (AP) _ The country’s No. 3 chicken producer, Gold Kist, said Monday it wants to remain a stand-alone company despite buyout offers _ including one that was made public last week _ from Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

German Court Rules on DaimlerChrysler

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler AG must pay about $295 million to former shareholders of Daimler-Benz AG to settle a case related to its 1998 merger with Chrysler Corp., a court said Monday.

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